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The Cochin Natural History Society is a non-profit making, non-political charitable institution registered under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. This is a society of amateur naturalists who live in harmony with nature and seek to protect and to preserve the biodiversity and healthy natural environment. The mandate of the society is to undertake studies and documentation of biodiversity around us and to draw attention to the aesthetic, economic, scientific and conservation aspects.The society also intends to provide a platform to those who are concerned to come together and share, enlarge and correct our knowledge about Nature and its magnificence. Any person, who has a love, interest and commitment towards conservation of our biodiversity and natural history may become a member of the society*.

"You can know the names of a bird in all languages of the world,but when you are finished ,
You will know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird.....
So let`s look at the bird and see what it`s doing --that`s what counts.
I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."

-Nobel Laureate Richard P Feynman(1918-1988)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Should we sacrifice the sanctity of our wilderness for luxuries?

Recently my attention was captured by an article that appeared in 'The Hindu" newspaper.
It seems like there's a move to introduce air taxi for sabarimala pilgrims. Is it really a necessity?
Don't you think it will create a disturbance in the pristine forests which is also a project tiger reserve. Wild animals and trees also need space to live and thrive. We cannot invade and steal what little is left for them for our luxuries. Necessities, I can understand, but luxury????

Please read the article.:
Helicopter taxis for pilgrims A Correspondent
From Nedumbassery to Nilackal base camp

Nedumbassery: With more number of devotees from the neighbouring States opting for a flight to Kochi en route to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, the airport here is expecting a quantum jump in the movement of domestic passengers during the ongoing two-month annual pilgrimage season.

According to official sources, the number of devotees arriving at the airport here had been registering a steady increase over the last few years and the trend was expected to continue in the current season as well. During the period, a largest number of devotees are expected to arrive from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.

Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), in association with Bharath Airways Private Limited, has introduced a helicopter taxi service to the Nilackal base camp.

The Travancore Devaswom Board, in September, gave permission to CIAL for operating the service, subject to the necessary security clearance and permission from the authorities.

The first flight of the season, carrying five devotees from Hyderabad, is scheduled to take off from here next week. The services will be operated with a Bell-407 type chopper having a passenger capacity of five. There are also provisions to avail of a bigger chopper with 12-14 seats. The flying time from Nedumbassery to Nilackal will be 30 minutes and the fares will be charged on hourly basis.

The airport has also introduced pick and drop services for the pilgrims landing here from various destinations.

CIAL has been reporting a consistent growth in domestic traffic on the back of a sharp jump in the number of domestic tourists arriving here.

Domestic traffic in the airport here during the last fiscal grew by a healthy margin of 26.7 per cent along with a 6 per cent increase in domestic aircraft movements.


  1. Dear all,
    The proposal to start air taxi from CIAL to Nilakkal may not per se create any additional disturbance than now as Nilakkal already has a helipad and at any rate not many trips may happen cosidering the cost and other factors.It is also highly disturbed during the season even otherwise.But there is a bigger question like the disturbance already being done by the huge influx of pilgrims and the attendant commercial interventions in the Tiger Reserve.The case of elephants and other animals chewing on the huge plastic waste generated there and the resultant problems are well documented....The human waste generated and the resultant contamination of the eco system is also apparent.But what is the solution?..

    Some of thr problems can be reduced or mitigated by using better management of waste disposal/recycling etc...

    Any comments?

  2. It seems that 'belief' is more powerful than 'being'. What one can expect when belief, tourism and ignorance, all rolled into one?. This time it will be up to Nilakkal, next step will be up to Rudravanam.